LEICESTER to THE QUEEN.
Sends Sir Richard Bingham to declare the state of affairs.
His own worthiness and former services will sufficiently speak
for him, but asks that his sojourn there may be no hindrance to
her further goodness to him, "as he has been made half afraid
of by the advertisements from some his good friends ; but he
trusts wholly upon the Queen. Wishes she had many more of
his sort, considering . . . what need she is like to have of them."
Commits himself to her favour, except he has deserved the
contrary when he would crave an end at God's hands.—Dort,
1 November, "in my way toward Berges and Flushing."
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 1.]
LEICESTER to WALSINGHAM.
Praying him to "hold still and fast" this gentleman [Bingham]
in his good opinion, "for he is worthy, and the most sufficient
man her Majesty hath for the wars. He is fully instructed
touching the state of these countries ; her Majesty may yet save
them if she will ; otherwise they are utterly undone, and herself
in danger."—Dort, 2 November.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 3.]
Act of authorization by his Excellency to the Council of State
to examine, &c., certain remonstrances of the States General.—
Dordrecht, 12 November, 1587.
French. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 5.]
M. FREMIN to WALSINGHAM.
Sending greetings by "le Chevalier Bynghym." As to news,
believes his honour knows more than he could tell him ; also, if
his letters were intercepted, there are some who might not be
well pleased to read the truth of what passes in this government ;
and it would only serve to increase the hate by which he is already
surrounded.—Dort, 12 November, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 7.]
Note of the Instructions to the Commissioners.
That we shall repair to Ostend.
We shall give knowledge to the Duke of Parma or to the
King's Commissioners to what place we are come. We shall
require them to send one with their commission to be perused
by us and that we will also send some convenient person to them
with our commission, before we meet.
We shall inform them of the imperfection of their commission
if any be. If they will grant the amendment thereof, we shall
go forward and give them notice that upon the first motion of
the Duke to hearken to a 'plat' and his offer that the King's
Commissioners should meet with such as the Queen should send
into any part of the Low Countries we are come to Ostend and
here to treat with them of a peace ; and shall require them, by a
discreet person, to come to Ostend, and shall tell them that after
the Commission shall be viewed and a cessation of arms agreed
upon, that then we will repair to Bourbrough, or to any place
which shall be by conference to the Commissioners thought meet.
When we are together at Ostend . . . we shall propose a cessation
of arms, whereof there have already been speeches by Lord de
Champagny and Richardot.
Endd. as "Imperfect." 1¾ pp. [Flanders I. f. 411.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to BURGHLEY.
Has often advertised his lordship of the wants of this place,
hoping that he would further the speedy supply thereof.
Has now been given to understand that the estate of the
garrison is made known to the enemy by some of the burghers,
and that the great preparations being made are intended against
this town. Cannot write it for certainty, but it is to be feared.
The bearer, Sir Richard Bingham will acquaint his lordship
further hereof. Earnestly prays that two or three of her Majesty's
ships may be sent to lie there, where they would be a great
"safety" to the garrison and do her far better service than upon
the coast of England.—Vlisshing, 4 November, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 9.]
THE SAME to WALSINGHAM.
To the same effect as the preceding. Vlisshing, 4 November,
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 11.]
DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
Having been recalled by the Duke of Parma (as I informed
your lordship from "Cales") after long discourse I succeeded in
inducing him to write to the Queen, expressing his desire for the
general quiet and to give her Majesty all satisfaction possible ;
but (as he said to me) if the means to do this should be taken
from him by procrastination, he will be deeply grieved at losing
so good an opportunity ; and yet it only wants the deputies to
set out at once for Berghes up Zoom to begin to treat ; and so
soon as they send for me, I will go there, taking with me, for
their satisfaction all those things of which your lordship's three
letters of the 13th and 15th ult. make mention ; the Duke being
ready to start any hour (his destination unknown) ; but it matters
little even if he should go upon some enterprise, for it will not
comport with his honour (as he has declared to me) to keep so
many troops without making use of them ; but no sooner shall
the deputies be arrived than he will make known his desire for
peace, although he is so great a warrior. I will also take to
Berghes the safe-conduct in like form to that from her
There need be no fear about Spain, or of the great preparations
on that side, because a messenger will be sent thither in all haste
to stay whatever the King may have in his mind to do. It will
be seen that there is now a determination for peace, the Duke
swearing to me the other day, on the faith of a gentleman, that
he was put to shame over the time he had lost, but that if the
deputies come at once, her Majesty shall be satisfied of his
sincerity, and that, regardless of his own interests, his chief study
is to give satisfaction to the world and to keep his promises.
I expected to be myself the bearer but having met Edward
Morris here at Ghent, I have sent him back at once to hasten
the coming of the deputies ; after which, all will go very well.
Her Majesty may rest assured that the good or ill of the business
depends on the shortening or prolonging of the time. Meanwhile,
I will go to let his Highness know how matters stand. But I
pray you to expect of me no other reply, although I will not fail
to write generally by every good opportunity.—Ghent, 4
Add. Endd. by Burghley, as "sent from Gaunt by Morryce."
Italian, 2 pp. [Flanders I. f. 365.]
LEICESTER to THE QUEEN.
"I think it my duty in this dangerous time to advertise you
as often as I can how I find the state of things here." Since Sir
Richard Bingham's departure there is little change, but the same
cause remains for your Majesty's resolute consideration, whereon
depends not only the cause of God and of these countries, but
your own honour and security ; for I verily believe that without
your prevention, the King of Spain will be ere long possessor of
Such practices as I have gathered, I have sent you, both in
writing and by that gentleman's declaration. "There is no
question but there be great treasons conspired here, as well to
deliver the countries into the King's hands as to deprive your
Majesty of all your interests and assurance here. It is carried
under a quite contrary pretence, by such as make show wholly
against the King of Spain, and to be only patriots of their
country ; but the whole course of their doings being observed,
then doth it lie plain open what their intents are." One of the
chief bewrayers of this is their ingrate dealing towards your
Majesty, which the wisest think is done of purpose to discourage
you from further maintaining of this cause ; when they might
the easier bring to pass the overthrow of this government. Many
of deep judgment believe it to be "the plot laid and since wrought
by 'St. Allagond,' upon his reconciliation with the Duke of
Parma at the rendering up of Antwerp ; and that it cannot be
possibly brought to pass without first dividing themselves from
your Majesty, and after to settle such a government as lately
and yet they are about ; which they may alter and change when
they will." Of this your Majesty will be thoroughly informed by
Sir Richard Bingham, who is persuaded that the purpose of these
men is no other than to bring in the King of Spain. Therefore it
behoveth you to look to the means for preventing these plots
before it be too late, for it yet lies in you to redress all.
* "And seeing it is only the expense of money, which is ordained
for all princes and all others to preserve and maintain their
estate, I doubt not but your Majesty in your high wisdom will
not spare (as you have not done) to employ that, and those
means which God hath given you, to the most benefit of his
service and your own sure estate. For if I and many others be
not much deceived, your Majesty must look for a most dangerous
and most troublesome time whensoever the King of Spain shall
again possess these countries absolutely, as he hath done and as
now it is in working he shall do, without you, or rather in despite
of you. Which thing being once accomplished, all the goods in
England cannot redress it.
"And now there is hope and possibility left whereby your
Majesty may alter all yet, if you will. For I dare boldly give you
this assurance, notwithstanding all the devices and practices to
pluck men's hearts from you, that your Majesty may have them
all faster than ever you had them, and more than ever you had.
For all good sort that loveth their country and [are] desirous to
be free from the Spanish tyranny, as well papists as protestants,
do live in extreme fear at this hour both that your Majesty will
leave them and their own chief rulers will betray them ; and yet
they know the latter cannot be without the former ; for if your
Majesty forsake them not, but will see them protected under your
countenance, they fear not the other, but will, I am persuaded,
'or' long take a new course with their rulers, of which there be not
above four or five that bear the stroke ; but they be pestilent
and mischievous companions . . . and begun now more than ever
before to be discovered of their treacherous intents. But no man
dare speak or do till they may see what way your Majesty will
take...for that side are left without a head, as it were, in the meanwhile.
And yet I will not be idle to do all that in me shall lie to
make this island of Walkeren assured, whatsoever fall out, when
if it may be, your Majesty shall the less fear to make a good
bargain for yourself when the worst shall come. The greatest
and only lack will be money, whereof I am so well stored for my
'none' poor self, as I do protest by all duty I owe to your Majesty,
I have spent not only all I brought over, but all I could get otherwise,
either here or out of England ; and if I had twenty times
more than I have, I will never but think all well spent in your
"I do find the Count Morryce hath been very jealous over
Camphire ; and beside his garrisons, his chief instruments be there,
as 'St. Allagond' and one Mallery, a very bad fellow ; and I am
informed it is a place the enemy doth make account of to be at his
devotion ; but I trust it will not fall out so. If it should, he had
the very key into all Zeeland, and likewise to annoy greatly this
town. Your Majesty, I hope, will consider that I cannot do now as
I might the last year. They of this country have found means to
draw all their soldiers in Holland and Zeeland from my commandment ;
beside, all your English new forces and the old in the
States' pay be all discharged, so that I have no bands to dispose of
that be not already placed ; neither have I means to content or
ruin the others as I know I could well do, to the settling and turning
all things which way you will, if your pleasure may be so in time.
For if your Majesty do intend to maintain this cause any longer
there is no remedy but you must have all soldiers in all places at
your disposition ; which once recovered, will always be held
easily without your Majesty's further charge any more. But the
first getting there now will be some charge, as Richard Bingham
will declare unto you."—Flushing, 5 October [sic].
Postscript. "I trust your Majesty doth remember to send some
person of credit over with your pleasure to these men with all
speed. Ortell is a bad instrument."
Holograph. Add. 3 pp. Two seals with crest in garter.
[Holland XIX. f. 13.]
LEICESTER to BURGHLEY.
"I have written to my lords of the Council, yet will trouble you
with a few lines, to let you understand in what great strength the
Duke of Parma is at this present ; and yet the very certainty of
his enterprise not known. But upon many presumptions I have
conceived...that he hath some secret reconciliations and assurance
among some of the States ; which, if it be so, then his preparations
are assuredly for these parts of Zeeland ; Walkeren, Tergose and
Syryksey and Berges up Zome ; for he hath at least 500 boats to
carry a hundred men apiece ; many bridges and many scaling
ladders. He hath ships for war, great and small 150 ; he hath
made 6000 shirts for camissados ; he hath also 7000 pair of high
and great boots to wade with. But he hath made store of one
provision which I muse at ; for that cannot be for these parts ;
and that is of saddles, bridles, stirrups, spurs, withal such furniture
for 3000 horse ; which must needs be for some place whither he
means to carry so many horse. Some tells me that there should be
a Scottish embassy with him. I cannot think he will go into
Scotland, specially this winter, and I hope matters be in better
terms between her Majesty and the young King there ; if not, then
is it to be considered, for that place is to be feared of all other,
if it be not friendly disposed. Ireland I have suspected, but that
provisions might rather come from Spain. England if they have
any hope of friends there, I assure you my lord, horsemen is the
only lack they should have ; and 3000 horse, such as he is able to
bring, were a shrewd troop in any country with his footmen,
being the best soldiers at this day in Christendom.
It is good to doubt the worst, and to provide in time for it,
wherein I would wish your lordship to remember two things in
England. The one is that the order for keeping of able horses be
strictly looked unto ; for I know by experience at musters that
favour doth mar all, and when you shall have need, you shall find
your horses scant, and the numbers not such as a few years past
they were. The second is your muskets, that you may raise as
many of them in all places as you can, for the enemy useth none
other almost. And if we may provide every man to keep able
horses, and to have good weapons, our people will not be beaten,
I warrant you, being well led...
Touching our opinion here, we verily think his forces be for
those places I have before set down, and this place especial, for
this is the place that sticks most in their stomach, and if he may
quietly enter into this island, he would put it in hazard ; only our
succour must be her Majesty's navy, and his only damage if he
attempt these places must be her force by sea. For my part,
whatsoever become of me after, I will see which way he will bestow
himself before I remove hence, except to go see Berges ; and
if he assail this place, here shall you hear of me, by God's
"Your lordship shall do well to move that all the coasts,
especially Kent, Sussex and Essex may be put in present
readiness, with all the shipping you can ; and that a good mass
of victual and powder be also set in some magazine, either at
Dover, Sandwich or Harwich, or in all three some ; for it is to be
thought that it is either for these places or for some of her Majesty's
dominions, for which soever your provisions and readiness can do
but good. And if it be for these countries, if there be no treason
among themselves, I fear no great harm, but I do fully resolve
there is great treason among some of the chiefest, or else would he
never attempt these places. Among other provisions I must
remember one most necessary specially for Ostend, which is sea
coal, which may be had from London. Thus my lord, I cease now
my old suit to return home till I see how this place shall do..."
Flushing, 5 November.
Postscript. As for money, if her Majesty will not now spend
and encourage her people and captains to serve, all will be lost.
There is nothing that makes Englishmen cowards or traitors in
war but want. For God's sake, spend money to save her, and
not spare money to ruin her. Presume not too much upon your
peace, and be too careless of your enemy.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 16.]
KILLIGREW AND GILPIN to LEICESTER.
After your Excellency's departure from Dort, the Council of
State wrote to the States of Holland, assembled at Delft not to
break up their assembly, as they had charge in your name to
impart somewhat to them. Next morning the Council went to the
Hague, to resolve what should be handled with the said States,
having given M. Valck commission to learn when they would
appoint a time for it, or else "commit" some of their college to
come to the Hague. "Whereupon the answer was there should
be deputies committed to meet here, so as all matters will be
done upon reports, and thereby the proceedings fall out the
longer." At Delft are also Counts Maurice, Hohenlo and Solms.
Yesterday afternoon certain deputies from the States of Holland,
accompanied with Vosbergen of Zeeland, had audience of the
council, and declared at large how it is certainly understood that
the enemy makes marvellous great preparation of shipping in
Antwerp, Gaunt, and other places, as also in foreign countries,
"having some great enterprise in hand which it is to be doubted
would fall out upon Zeeland or some quarter thereof ; and therefore
was needful to provide in time whereby to oppose and resist all
attempts, so to keep the country from invasion ; to which end, the
Count Maurice as Admiral had, with the advice of the Count
Hohenlo and the 'said' of Holland found good and resolved to send
thither all the ships can be spared out of Holland and other places ;
also the ships being at sea ; and for that it was necessary to have
store of men to arm the said ships, desired the Council to further
the same." And the said Counts having appointed all that could
be spared out of their own garrisons to be levied, yet more were
required, they desired that the soldiers in Meppe[n] should be
ordered to march hitherward, and that Snoy should be required
to send one of his companies from Medenblick, the others being
more than enough (as they said) to keep the place. And that his
company at Enckhuysen should be removed, "for causes which
by the Council's letters your honour shall understand, together
with the resolution taken upon the several points of the said
States' declaration. There was great reasoning on both sides
about the demands, and divers times repeated of the great care
the Count Maurice and the States had for the conservation of this
country (whereof the charge was committed to him) with regard
of the reputation and service of your Excellency ; with many other
words tending to their advantage, and insisting very hard to
have the company out of Enchuysen, which was not yielded unto,
but answered that your Excellency should be written unto about
the same. In fine, answer being given unto the said deputies,
they then asked the Council for the resolution taken, whereof
they would make report to their superiors ; desiring most earnestly
that that opinion might be had of the Count Maurice and the
States in general and particular that they desire nothing more
than the good and preservation of the country, with respect and
care of the honour and reputation of her Majesty and your
Excellency." The above will show you how the world goes here,
and of all other things that shall pass, you shall be thoroughly
advertised.—The Haegh, 6 November, 1587.
Signed by both. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 18.]
SIR JOHN CONWAY to THE PRIVY COUNCIL.
Sending forth lately fifty soldiers to take some of the enemy and
boors of the country, to learn how these new forces lie and what is
their intended service ; in the fury, they put some of them to the
sword, and demanded of the rest whom they took such questions
as I gave in charge to two officers.
They confessed the bringing down of these forces next adjoining
this place, and the trebled increase of their accustomed
number in every place is intended for a surprise of this place,
when they shall see their aptest time. I am advertised that
they have within this garrison, from some false hearted, intelligence
and direction how they shall proceed there.
"Thomas Trent remaineth imprisoned at Bruges for his charges,
at 3s. 6d. a day. In this time of his restraint, he hath very
honestly and dutifully behaved himself. Several times I have
received from him advertisements of the enemy's purposes and
proceedings, which I have sent always to his Excellency." The
man now sends me word that he has lately got acquainted with
a Boor who fetches letters from some in this garrison, and has of
late delivered one of the letters into Trent's hands, and promised
him that he would do me all the service in his power.
The substance of the letter Trent hath is this :—"One of this
garrison writeth to Lamotte in French the strength and weakness
of the islands of Tergoes, Tertole and Walkeren ; the manner and
strength of our new fort on Newport side, and how a surprise may
be made of this town ; and further names which are parties to
the cause. He set down several marks, whereby, as Trent writeth,
it is easy to conjecture the persons." The letter itself he will
bring when he is delivered, having now written in a secret manner
by which it could not pass. I think the time long till Trent has
his liberty, that I may know the traitors here, and they have their
due reward. I doubt not then but to prevent their purpose, but
now I cannot put men forth upon any service "but it is to be
doubted they will give advertisement, which they may do in two
hours, and cause our men to be overthrown."
There is one Barley, a merchant staple of England dwelling in
Bridges who desires my passport to fetch four boats from Dover
to Sluce, and in consideration thereof, would pay 20l. for Trent.
The other ten, I will most gladly give, to have his liberty, if it may
please your lordships that I may take this course.
As touching the Prince's great preparations by sea, I could
have advertised your lordships long since that it is intended for
Scotland and for the islands of these countries. I did, with that
speed I might, advertise Sir William Russell to be heedful of his
charge. This place receives many intelligences by land, and often
through storms by water which I can neither send in due time to
your lordships nor his Excellency, by reason we have no boat
belonging to this place that dares put to sea through fear of being
"We are now besieged in the hardest kind. Our liberty is much
less by water than by land...notwithstanding all these forces,
and yet are they very strong near adjoining, and this garrison
never so weak, neither in companies nor fortifications. The place
is weaker by five hundred men than it was six months past, by
the decay of our Merchants Adventurers. Of our companies
here is three withdrawn, and the enemy hath next adjoining
trebled his accustomed forces upon us."
Our hope and comfort is that the cause being God's and the
war her Majesty's, he will, from love to her, protect those who
serve her faithfully, for I see no reason that either the strength
of the place or the companies now here can assure its safety
against any strong attempt.
If I may say my opinion, I think it would be much better for
her Majesty to hold it with such strength as might assure it
against all dangers, or else rather to surrender it by honourable
conditions than to suffer the loss with any touch of her honour
through want of foresight or by any other defect.
"There must be some speedy care had of it, or else the seas will
win it. It is a special cause which makes the enemy forbear to
adventure the loss of many men in attempting it, because he is
fully persuaded that the sea will free this place of us before this
winter and spring tides have finished their course, and truly in
ourselves we do much fear it. But we do not yield to despair ;
we work all we may daily in the defence of it, both soldiers and
burghers. And I trouble your lordships this much in the
cause by reason of the States' inconstant proceedings with her
Majesty and his Excellency, so as I see our help must come from
her Majesty ; wherein I hope your lordships will favour and further
us ; and thereupon we rely."
I lately sent one Sawell to his Excellency, whom I took here,
going towards the Prince of Parma at Sluce ; (fn. 1) and hearing that
he has sent to your lordships, I think good to let you know of what
mind and manner I found him. He told me he had a brother and
sister dwelling in Sluce and was going to them, but there proved
no such man, woman or house in the town as he spake of. Then
he prayed me to ask him no more, for he was not to discover
himself to me in such services as he was employed "by some of the
lords" of the privy Council. "I told him I was well pleased to
forbear to search the knowledge of any your lordships' secrets or
services, and that nevertheless, he should answer me to other
particular questions." These he refused to answer, or made
frivolous answers, far from the matter, and when I insisted, "upon
his knees he desired pardon...for he had taken a solemn oath not
to discover their secrets which had put him in trust."
I found about him a book entitled Brittania Guillelmi Candeni
[sic] the several maps of all the havens and sea-coasts northward.
He confesses he had cards of all England, Ireland and Scotland,
but forgot them in the ship when he landed. He had a purse
which I send herewith with divers superstitious and vain tokens
from sundry papists in England to some of their sort in France,
and these countries, with two or three small notes in paper, the
one answering the Lord Pagett ; the others he would not confess.
That for Lord Pagett was delivered to him by one of Lady Pagett's
men, brought to him by one Griffe of the White Friars.
"The bones, flesh and sinews which are in the purse, he said
were of traitors, martyrs as he termed them, which lately had
suffered in England, and were sent to Mr. Charles Arundel and
others of his sect." He begged that he might keep them, saying
they were highly sanctified and things wherewith there had been
great conjurations made by one Grear and others.
No doubt he had some special intelligence or service to do the
Prince of Parma, for when I sent a man to the Prince's camp,
"the Prince made great enquiry if there were one stayed here
coming towards him, and made as right a description of the man
as might be. And no doubt if [your] lordships put him to some
terror, he can and will discover to you divers hollow hearted
papists which give hence advertisements, and of some in England
which are acquainted with the Prince's purposes towards Scotland
and elsewhere." It is thought that the success of the King of
Navarre against the King of France will much alter these. The
loss of the Admiral and so many of account greatly appals the
Spaniards here. "I received the news from Rome the third day
after...and presented La Motte therewith at the governor of
Newport's marriage. It marred much [their] triumph because I
yielded them reason to believe it. They will presently do something
by sea. They have kept our messengers this eight days
and will suffer none to come in Newport or Bridges to enquire
of them ; and it is only, as I am advertised, because we shall not
see their preparation of shipping. They have prepared a great
number of great barrels to float them together to cross a strait
or a haven ; and to Gaunt is lately come very great store of
powder, great shot, and furniture for horsemen. It is looked
every day when the Prince will withdraw his forces which he laid
upon the country and in his strengths hereabout, but as yet they
stir not..."—Ostend, 6 November, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 4½ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 20.]
SIR THOMAS SHERLEY to the PRIVY COUNCIL.
Trusts Sir Richard Bingham has told them of the want of
money. What he brought over is almost all issued and gone, and
he has no more than will make lendings for a month. Prays that
within that time more may be sent, or they will be utterly overthrown,
and "will fall into arms with the towns for meat,"
as they cannot have credit for one stiver. Being so long without
pay has utterly discredited them. Looks for no pay until there
be a full account made to her Majesty, "both what hath been
paid and what she oweth unto the soldiers," which shall be done
with all possible speed, after the books of muster be had out of
the muster-master's hands, and then he doubts not she shall see
an orderly declaration of the expense of her treasure ; but in the
meantime begs that fourteen or fifteen thousand pounds may
be sent to supply lendings, without there is no possibility for them
to live ; for their merchants will not lend 200l. "if the whole
state should stand upon it."—Flushing, 6 November, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 23.]
THE SAME to BURGHLEY.
To the same effect as the preceding. Makes bold to write this
particular letter to his lordship, knowing that he looks most
honourably and carefully upon this cause and her Majesty's
subjects who are engaged in it.—Flushing, 6 November, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Seal of arms. [Ibid XIX. f. 25].
THE SAME to WALSINGHAM.
Will not reiterate what he has written to their lordships, but
begs his honour "to be a good mean for the speedy dispatch of
money," without which they will all assuredly perish. He is a
principal patron of this action. In the name of them all, beseeches
him either to labour their revocation or that they may be supplied
as is meet for the poor subjects of so noble a prince as they
serve.—Flushing, 6 November, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 27.]
LEICESTER to WALSINGHAM.
I trust God has restored you to better health than when you
My letters were ready yesterday when my cousin Herbert
with Ortell arrived, whereupon I waited to peruse his letters and
to confer with him ; but finding no cause to stay my messenger,
I have despatched him, and touching our proceedings upon this
arrival will write again very shortly.
In the mean time, I see our enemies have dealt more like
politic men than we have ; I mean you there ; for it was always
agreed heretofore among us that there was no way to make a
good peace but by a strong war. I was so made believe also at
my coming away, for which purpose I was sent with four or five
thousand men ; but that persuasion I see was soon altered, and
I fear [we] shall be drawn to yield to all demands, and not to dare
stand upon any.
"Now is the difference put in experience, for we see the Prince
of Parma did not weaken himself to trust upon a peace, but has
increased his forces in the highest degree whilst we talked of
peace, that if we broke off, he might either compel us to his peace,
or [be] beforehand with us by the readiness of his forces. This
was told and foretold, but yet no ear given nor care taken, but
must fall into the providence of God, having neglected his means,
which were wonderful. I have written and sent to Sir Ric.
Bingham as much as I can say, but to pray to God to defend and
preserve her Majesty, and to direct her yet to take the best course
for her safety. For surely you shall find the Prince meaneth no
peace. I see money doth undo all ; the care to keep it, and not
upon just cause to spend it. Her Majesty doth still blame me
for the expence of her troops here, which doth make me weary of
my life, for I see it is the cause of lack of her favour ; but her
Majesty will rue the sparing counsel at such times."—7 November.
Postscript. Even as I ended, intercepted letters were brought
me, "of the Duke of Parma's great providence in preparing
himself during the parley of peace ; showeth his forces, what they
are ; that Leicester's forces—for so he calleth me—are all withdrawn,
and bids his friend be sure shortly to be [in] England in
quiet. It is one Preston, one of Stanley's company to one Grene,
a priest. He writes very lewdly of our state...but his matter is
probable, and better for her Majesty than a million pounds that
she had done as the Duke of Parma hath done ; both for her
honour and profit.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 32].
LEICESTER to BURGHLEY.
I have made choice of your servant Constable to carry this
packet to her Majesty and my lords. I would God there had been
occasion to have placed him here, for he is forward, honest and
painful ; further and favour him if you can.
I have now read your letter, having stayed him on hearing of
Mr. Herbert's coming into the harbour.
What a treaty this is for peace ; that we must treat altogether
disarmed and weakened, the King having made his forces stronger
than ever, and yet we will presume of good conditions. It
grieveth me to the heart, but I fear you all will smart as well.
I pray God her Majesty feel it not, she meaneth well and sincerely
to have peace, but God knows this is not the way. Well, God
Almighty defend us, but look for a sharp war or a miserable peace
only for a time to undo others and ourselves after." (fn. 2) —7 November.
Postscript. "I pray you tell my lord Chancellor he is a very
churl ; for I have not heard one word of long time from him."
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 34.]
WILLIAM BORLAS to WALSINGHAM.
The wants of the soldiers are great and the place unfurnished
of all necessaries ; the enemy is very strong and threatens it.
He could never take a better time for his purpose, for if he
land in this island, Middelburgh will open him the gates, and it
is thought Camver and Hermew will do the like. I believe there
will be discovered the greatest treason both of the States and their
followers, as ever was seen ; for they take the very course to give
the country to the enemy. For they provide for no place, but
daily send the enemy victuals and all things else that he hath need
of, and our nation most odious unto them. I would there might
be some more care taken of this place...I have let to write unto
your honour many times because I had nothing to write but such
news as was displeasing...
"I understand there hath been some good tongues that doth
mis-speak of my doings here, saying that I am too great a favourer
of the burghers of this town and also of the Spaniards." I pray
you, keep your old opinion of me and not give ear to slanderous
reports. "I have lived fifty and three years, and never was touched
with any dishonest part, and now being preferred to this place by
your honour, I have sought nothing but to get credit...for I am as
very a beggar as I was before. If it would please you to call me
home and to employ me in Ireland now, I should think myself
most bound unto your honour, for that I grow in years and would
be glad to have some resting place in my old age."—Flushing,
7 November, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 36.]
THE QUEEN to the STATES GENERAL.
Copy of the letter sent to the States General, being a translation
from that first drawn up in English, of which the following is a
Fr. 3½ pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 38.]
THE SAME to THE SAME.
Although she has at sundry times informed them of her great
cause for discontent with their strange and most ungrateful
proceedings ; their violations of their contracts and ill-behaviour
to her lieutenant, yet, having other occasion to write to them,
she cannot forbear to touch upon a few points, being such as the
whole world seeth, as well as herself.
1. As regards the treaty of peace, their impudent untruths ;
alleging that she had already concluded on a treaty with the King
of Spain, before any motion was made to them, and without
regard to their surety or liberty in religion ; matters utterly
false, either for anything done in act or intended in thought" by
her ; and upon which they have heaped malicious slanders
against her cousin and lieutenant, their Governor, "who hath
hazarded his life, spent his substance, left his natal country,
absented himself from [herself] and lost his time" only for their
service, falsely reporting that he came thither the last time after
he knew that she had secretly concluded upon a peace, to suppress
some of their towns and deliver them to the King of Spain, and
so compel them to agree to a peace, with sundry other such
It is most strange that any person having any sense could
imagine that he whom she sent over with new forces to join with
theirs to relieve Sluse from the enemy should seek to surprise
any of their towns (when themselves had aforetime offered her
the sovereignty of the whole country and all the towns without
exception) ; for accomplishing of which service to relieve Sluse,
"there was done and attempted by him and the small number of
[her] own people as much as could be with wit or force," and on
their part, as much done to the manifest impediment thereof,
yea to the loss of the town, by treachery, as could be possibly
Furthermore, her people "who have long served them with
adventure of their lives, have been after many months' serving
cassed without due payment and wasted with famine" ; and how
the numbers lately sent over to increase their forces are denied
any kind of payment by them, and so forced to resort [home] in
most miserable sort ; and yet what great sums have been issued
for their services by her treasurers and are still unpaid, is to
themselves best known and worst answered.
But omitting these things until she may receive better answer
by John Herbert, one of her Council, lately sent to them ; her
special cause of sending at this time is to inform them that she
has ordered the Earl of Leicester to return home, having greater
cause to use his service there than it seems he can profit either
her or them where he is, by reason of their disordered government
"and willfulness in obeying of him" as their governor. Yet she
cannot be void of compassion of their estate, and the pitiful
condition of the great multitude of the good kind and godly
people, subject to the miseries which their government is like to
bring upon them, for which cause she will leave such forces for
defence of these countries as was covenanted by her, until she
see how long they may be profitable to them. In the mean
time, she earnestly advises them to make their garrisons as strong
as they should be to withstand the attempts of the enemy's
forces, now greatly increased by land and sea ; and which they
are the more to fear from the diminution of their own, and their
ill payment ; whereof, notwithstanding their unkind usage, she
cannot but warn them, and charge them to reform their errors,
which tend so apparently to their danger ; and for her part, if
she shall treat of any peace, she will omit to care for them and for
their countries as for her own.
Partly in the hand of Burghley's clerk, corrected by his lordship,
and partly in Burghley's own hand, the last page being re-written by
him. 4 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 40.]
"Sir Richard Byngham's report of three points sent from the
Earl of Leicester."
Her Majesty may take her choice of three ways to deal with the
States of the Low Countries.
1. To concur in this plot of theirs, viz : to acknowledge their
sovereignty over these countries, to allow of Count Maurice to
be their governor over Holland and Zeeland and to yield them, as
she hath done, her aid and succour of five thousand footmen and
a thousand horsemen.
2. "To send some man of good credit thither to declare her
Majesty's dislike of their doings, in particular towards herself
and her people ; to make known to them the occasion that moved
her chiefly to make the motion to treat of a peace ; to declare unto
them how unkindly she hath been dealt withal many ways and
that she doubts not but these people...will see due punishment
done on them which have so dishonourably used her. And
withal, her Majesty must presently disburse 20,000l. to be put
into the Governor's hands, to win such as for lack of payment on
this side be drawn away ; and then no doubt but within one
whole month after her Majesty's pleasure known, every thing
shall be done as she shall desire to have it :—
3 and lastly : To make know by all ways that the injuries offered
her by the States causes her to withdraw her succours, "and if
they be able to redeem their terms they shall have them ; otherwise
she will deal no further with them...This is the last and
most desperate, for as soon as this sentence is once pronounced,
they be all lost."
Endd. and dated by Burghley. [Holland XIX. f. 42]
"Sir Richard Bingham's memorial."
"The names of such as are best affected to her Majesty."
Colonels Snae, Skynck, Clearehage, Tourlowne, Gronyngvell
and his brother, young Medkyrke, Col. Backes and his two
brothers, Col. Fremynge, Count "Mures," Baron of Creange, and
Of the Council of State, I know but these that do come to his
lordship ; viz. Vaulte, Berderpons, Meanynge, Tealinge, Bredrowe
and the Burgomaster and Scowte of Utrick, viz. Deventer and
Those that are of the faction with Count Morryce.
Barnuvell, Advocate of Holland and a dweller in Rotterdam.
Villeres, the preacher ; St. Hallagonde ; Paul Buse of Leiden ;
Brasserd of Delf ; Rorda and Cominga of Friesland ; Dr. Malse,
alias Dr. Frauncis, pensioner of 'Inckhuysen' ; Nevell, pensioner
of Delfe ; Vandar Mayer ; Silla, pensioner of Amsterdam ; Banck
of Tergo ; Maunemaker, treasurer of Zeland, and one Vanboroughe
of Zeland, with some others.
Underwritten, with a cross above each name :—
St. Allagonde, Barnevell, Brasserd, Nevell and Silla.
On the covering sheet, in Burghley's hand.
To congregate captains. To make war. To make laws. To
make knights. To give arms. To hear and determine. To
punish by death. Warrants to the Treasurer.
Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 43.]
THE QUEEN to LEICESTER.
Hourly understands of the Duke of Parma's great preparations
by land and sea, and thinks of no places more likely to be assailed
than Ostend, 'Bergess up Zoom,' Flushing or the 'Ter Goess' ;
and knowing his care to strengthen 'Berghes' both with men and
victual, without which it is untenable, and also that being himself
at Flushing, he will omit nothing for the surety thereof : she
therefore "having ever since the Sluss was lost an opinion
confirmed by all men of judgment that the keeping of Ostend—
being the only place upon that sea coast without succour of any
other...but coasted on all parts with the forts of the enemy,
should be not only expence of treasure and victual and charge of
men that might serve some other town, but also of itself unable
to abide any strong siege and not be succoured by sea :—Therefore
thinks it were better to be abandoned before it should be besieged,"
and remits the consideration hereof to him and the advice of
such as he shall think fit, that if they judge it for the service of
the country they may devise how to have her people safely
brought away, with all things of value, and then to ruin the town
and destroy the haven by making breaches to let in the sea. But
before so doing, he is to acquaint the States secretly with his
reasons for it ; and if they shall think otherwise, "then to will
them forthwith to send both men and victual thither with some
meet person to take the charge thereof" ; which if they will not
do, to let them know that her Majesty means not to hazard the
lives of her people nor waste her treasure. Sends this in all haste,
as it is likely that the town will be besieged, and then must either
be given over to her dishonour, or won by the enemy with such
great loss as she would be very sorry for.
Draft by Burghley, and endd. by him with date. 2¼ pp.
[Holland XIX. f. 45.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELLL to BURGHLEY.
Is assured his lordship is informed by the great preparations
of the enemy, but must put him in mind thereof, as it is certainly
known to be their intention to attempt something against this
place or the island round about it. Earnestly prays him to
procure pay for the garrison lest, through their great wants they
should be corrupted, and also to provide other needful supplies.
Doubts not but that he has had order taken for sending over two
or three of the Queen's ships ; and beseeches him to further the
removing of the Company of English merchants from Middelburg
to this town, which would be a good security to the garrison.—
Vlishings, 8 November, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XIX.
The Same to Walsingham.
To the same effect as the preceding.—Vlisshing, 8 November,
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 51.]
SIR WILLIAM PELHAM to WALSINGHAM.
On behalf of Captain Cheston "whose experience in the
wars is justly to be recommended." Sends commendations
to my lady and Lady Sydney.—Vlishinge, 8 November, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 53.]
DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
From Ghent I wrote to your lordship on the 4th instant by
Edward Morris, sending the letter from the Duke to her Majesty,
and praying you to have the deputies dispatched as soon as
possible. On Sunday I arrived here, and went at once to the
Duke, reading him the letter signed by your lordship and the
Controller and Secretary ; to which his Highness replied as follows :
"If they desire to treat, why do they not come? They have no
reason to distrust me, as I might rather distrust them, for having
played with me all this time." When I began to show him that
those of Holland were the cause of the delay, he interrupted me,
saying "My Andrea, they deceive you" ; to which I replied that
if so, they were deceiving themselves. "Well" then said the
Duke, if we are to do anything, it must be done quickly. On
which replying : But how can that be, now that your Highness
is going away? As to that (he replied), it makes no matter at
all (ne piu ne meno) ; with similar remarks. And it being already
late : Go (he said) and take some rest, and to-morrow, we will
deal in this more at large. But he was so occupied with divers
lords and officials, who were with him all the next day [Margin in
Burghley's hand, 7 Nov.] that it was not until yesterday, early
before he mounted his horse, that he sent for me to his chamber,
and said : What is it, my Andrea? If they are in earnest, all
will be well. What more can I say? We are not going to do
evil, if it is possible to do good.
When I replied that his Highness was not accustomed to do
evil, he drew me into another room, because of the company there,
and said to me in presence of the Lord President, whom he sent
for : Write, my Andrea, that when they are willing to send,
I am willing to treat ; but that they must not delay so long that
my hands will be tied, as for a year and a half they have given
me nothing but words. And it makes no difference (he added)
that I am going away, if there is a disposition for an agreement,
it being usual enough to make a good peace with arms in the hand,
to which I shall always be most ready to lend an ear ; but otherwise,
I shall have no option but to do as I did at l'Escluse. I asked
if I might write that if the deputies come at once, his Highness
would be willing to treat, in accordance with the first resolution?
Write it (he replied) moreover you have my letters to the same
effect ; and for no other reason, M. de Champagney is going with
me, and the President, to be together if there shall be anything
to do ; saying once more : But they must make haste, and not
treat me as they have done in the past. When I said the delay
was due to its attempt to persuade the United Provinces, the
Duke replied : That is no excuse, for they might have treated
with me and at the same time sent into Holland and get them
to look well into their own situation. With this, he went towards
Ghent, and on to Bruges, to await the fleet, as is believed, and
which, it is openly said here, is to go for England, together with
the Spanish one ; which indeed appears easy enough to believe.
It is plain also, that you stand upon your guard, and it only
remains to pray God to inspire both sides with a true desire for
peace. Meanwhile, as a neutral, I advise you to send the deputies
at once, when I am assured that matters will come to a good
conclusion, being certain that his Highness will desire to avoid
the bloodshed which, as many times he has said to me, must
ensue if peace be not presently made ; reminding me of the power
of the King of Spain, and that it is not well for the Queen his
sister to remain at war with him without other cause.
Nor does it seem fitting for the Duke to say where the King,
or he himself will go with their forces, and as little so for me to
move it to his Highness, it being enough that he agrees to treat,
and desires there may be no delay from his zeal for the public
cause, and because otherwise, he plainly says, he will be forced
to do what he is ordered, and will not be to blame for the evil
which will follow. Also, it would not be becoming to make bold
now to touch on the suspension of arms to the Duke, seeing that
he has done it all this time. But in God's name, let the deputies
come, and then his Highness will not be averse to any just demand.
M. de Champagney will be willing to get the safe conduct altered
and I will take it to Berghes ; for to say the truth, I have not the
courage to move him therein, while matters are in their present
state, it having been already amended as your lordship required.
[Further arguments for sending the deputies.]
I send with this the true copy of his Highness's letter, in case
the orginal should miscarry, and shall expect the same of that
which her Majesty writes to the Duke ; who has given orders
all along the coast of Flanders for the deputies, if they should
arrive ; and the best would be for them to come to Bruges, to the
Duke himself. To shorten the time, you must not forget to send
over her Majesty's safe-conduct for these deputies here.—Brussels,
8 November, 1587, stilo antico.
Postscript. Once more recommending Martin de la Faille to
his lordship's kindness.
Add. Endd. Italian. 3½ pp. [Flanders I. f. 367.]
Revocation of the Earl of Leicester from the Low Countries.
Copy. Endd. Latin. 1 sheet. [Holland XIX. f. 55.]
Commission for the Lord Willoughby to be her Majesty's
Lieutenant and Captain General in the Low Countries. (fn. 3)
Copy. Endd. Latin. 9¼ pp. [Ibid. f. 56.]
Another copy of the Same.
Endd. "A copy of the Lord Willoughby's first commission for
the Low Countries, in the end whereof is a proviso that he should
do nothing without the counsel and assent of Sir William Pelham
Knight. Teste, 10 November : Ao. 29, 1587." 5 pp. [Ibid. f. 62.]